Whether you are just getting started with influencer marketing strategy or up-leveling your program, selecting the right platform is a critical decision. We recently published a user-friendly guide and practical workbook to help you during your selection process. We took a leaf out of the comprehensive guide & workbook to create a series of blog posts to discuss each section in greater detail.
Download the Complete, 13 Part Guide & Workbook
Let’s delve into the various stages of selecting an enterprise influencer marketing platform. No matter what phase of maturity your influencer program is in, you will need the right technology partner to achieve your goals. It’s important to think about your company’s objectives and keep them top of mind as you begin your search.
You might be asking:
- How should I be evaluating these platforms?
- What is the typical platform evaluation process?
We’re here to help. So we’ve built these workbook grids for inspiration. These can be changed to your heart’s content with rows containing criteria and the columns representing the different platform candidates of your choice. You can even add checkboxes, notes, metrics, or other requirements if you want to get specific. We’ve made it super easy for you too, here’s the Google Sheet version of the grids; access them here.
So now that you’ve put in the groundwork to kick off your research, it’s time to discuss the typical platform evaluation process.
The Common Influencer Marketing Platform Buyer Journey
Based on our experience, a search for a new influencer marketing platform can take anywhere from 60 to 90 days, so don’t be afraid to take your time. Easy for us to say, we know. However, the reality is that your team will be making a significant investment decision. It needs to bring positive outcomes – be it saving time, scaling your program with ease, and reporting performance or demonstrating ROI in a meaningful way that ties into broader company objectives.
Step 1) Get Stakeholder Input About Your Influencer Marketing Platform Requirements
As mentioned above, if you’re an influencer / marketing manager, you know a tool will be a game-changer on the daily. So one of the first things we recommend is aligning with relevant internal stakeholders that will gain value from your influencer marketing efforts – and that might have specific needs from your program. Take their temperature, and use that to inform your selection process. Have a look at the complete material and recommendations in the guide for inspiration to help align you with your colleagues and their requirements.
After capturing their needs and requirements for an influencer marketing platform, it’s time to start doing the research.
Start with no more than five platforms, or your search can take a lot longer and require more than a few hours a week.
Step 2) Capture Your Team’s Requirements & Start Contacting Preferred Platforms
At this stage, you’ve applied their feedback and started scoring the platforms based on the criteria you felt is most important. Next, email the Sales Teams, or said stakeholders, about the different platforms you are considering and set up a time to brief them. The first meeting – or two – can be shorter because you chose the platform candidates based on the goals and requirements.
Send your workbook or document ahead of time so your stakeholders have a chance to digest the criteria you will cover. Also, highlight what’s most important for you based on the offerings you found during your research so they can help you prioritize appropriately.
Step 3) Start Scheduling Influencer Marketing Platform Demos
After you’ve determined the most important criteria needed for your influencer marketing platform, it’s time to schedule demos with your top five choices.
Before meeting with your prospective platforms, get in touch with one of their sales agents and provide them with a hypothetical campaign scenario (including influencers you would like to search for with their platform). That way, you can get a more tailored demonstration and see if their solution is right for you.
Step 4) Narrow Down Your Options & Prepare to Discuss Price
Now that you have gone through all of the demos, it’s time to start eliminating from the batch. We suggest picking two of your preferred influencer marketing platforms and begin those fun pricing discussions with your sales contact. Be prepared to see a significant price range as some platforms are designed for large enterprises, and some are for small businesses with fewer requirements.
Don’t let the price discourage you. The more expensive platforms are well worth the cost – and they tend to be healthier, more stable platforms in the market that will scale and grow with you.
Step 5) Request a 90-day Onboarding Plan
After you have selected your ideal platform, request a 90-day onboarding (or implementation) plan. This will help you hit the ground running to execute quickly – from implementation through to your first campaign and reporting its performance.
As you may already know, there is a lot to consider during your process to find the right technology platform to manage your influencer marketing efforts. In the next blog post, we will discuss how you should be thinking about your long-term influencer marketing strategy during your selection process. Get the complete Guide & Workbook for Selecting an Enterprise Influencer Marketing Platform or stay tuned for the next blog post.